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Israel Discount Bank Q4'18 profit declines YOY

Israel Discount Bank Ltd. reported fourth-quarter 2018 consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of 324 million Israeli shekels, compared to 371 million shekels in the same period a year earlier.

Net interest income increased year over year to 1.42 billion shekels from 1.30 billion shekels. Commissions income amounted to 732 million shekels, up from the reclassified 685 million shekels in the fourth quarter of 2017. Noninterest financing income also increased on a yearly basis, to 177 million shekels from 94 million shekels.

The Israeli lender booked credit loss expenses of 176 million shekels, higher than the 31 million shekels incurred a year ago. Total operating and other expenses for the quarter climbed to 1.71 billion shekels from 1.48 billion shekels a year ago.

For full year 2018, the Tel Aviv-based bank's attributable profit totaled 1.51 billion shekels, up from 1.26 billion shekels a year ago. EPS amounted to 1.29 shekels, compared to 1.09 shekels in 2017. Return on equity for the period was 9.3%, compared to the year-ago 8.4%.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, the lender's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 10.24%, compared to 10.0% a year earlier. The total capital ratio was 13.67% as of 2018-end, compared to 13.92% at the end of 2017.

Israel Discount Bank's board of directors decided to distribute a dividend at the rate of 15% of its fourth-quarter profit, equivalent to 48.6 million shekels, comprising approximately 4.18 agorot per ordinary share. The lender noted that the board's decision to increase the dividend rate to 15% from 10% of the quarter's profits, beginning from the fourth quarter of 2018, was due to the "consistent" and "continuous" improvement in the bank's results.

As of March 8, US$1 was equivalent to 3.63 Israeli shekels.